Why Run The Ball?

Many new fast-paced, no-huddle offensive philosophies are not about taking as much time off the clock as possible.  Rather, these offensive sets are all about trying to score as many points as possible in the shortest amount of time.  Personally, I am at the opposite end of the time-management spectrum in that I have always coached my teams to take “as much” time off the clock as possible by running the ball.  Why?


  1. Taking as much time as is possible on each offensive play will give your defense more time to recover from their last outing on the field. Running the ball (unless you go out-of-bounds) will keep that clock going no matter what (even if you end up getting a loss on the play)
  2. Taking time off the clock will limit the number of offensive possessions for your opponent.  Once again, running the ball helps ensure this
  3. Running the ball breaks the will of the defense (in particular, the defensive line).  By running the ball successfully against your opponent, this will physically and psychologically tire out the defense.  This will lead to massive gains later on in the game when the will of the defense has been broken
  4. By talking time off the clock, no matter how great your opponent’s offense is, you will be able to limit the number of points they score, giving your team a chance to keep pace